The REACH Lab at University of California, Irvine is dedicated to researching trauma, resilience and how negative life events impact individuals and communities across the life span. With that focus, we must address the issues of racism and the consequential trauma the Black community continually endures. In May of 2020 the world witnessed George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police. In addition to Floyd’s murder, we watched as the story of Ahmaud Arbery, a man who was gunned down by armed white men while jogging unfold as well as the story of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police as she slept. Countless stories of race and police brutality continue to surface on a weekly basis, with other injustices that go unacknowledged. 

While these recent events have sparked a much needed new wave of social justice efforts, we must understand that these realities are not new to Black, Indigenous, and other racial and ethnic minority groups. Racism and oppression is etched into the foundation of this country. While it will take time to dismantle 400+ years of oppression, we can start by taking actionable steps that include holding ourselves accountable through committing to being anti-racist. The REACH Lab commits to: 

          • Recognize our individual and collective privileges and learn how to use our privilege to advocate for the Black community, Indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups
          • Recruit and support Black students in their research efforts
          • Hold space for empathy, accountability and relearning as necessary 
          • Explore the trauma the Black community faces as a direct result of racism
          • Educating ourselves without the expectation of having a Black person facilitating or initiating dialogue
          • Speaking up when instances of racial language, ideologies, microaggressions and conflict arise 

Here are a list of resources that you can utilize to start doing the work that will be updated frequently: 

The Urgency of Intersectionality: A TED Talk with Kimberlé Crenshaw 

Mapping Police Violence

“How to Be an Anti-Racist” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

“Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome” by Dr. Joy DeGruy

SPL Hate Map

“Addressing Law Enforcement Violence as a Public Health Issue (APHA)”

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Black Lives Matters Reading List 

Systemic Racism Explained 

New York Times 1619 Project 

Resources for Talking About Race and Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids

Black Lives Matter

How to Be An Ally to Indigenous Peoples

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI): Allies for Indian Country

United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples

10 Ways to Be a Genuine Ally to Indigenous Communities 

In solidarity and acknowledgement,